West Windsor Township Human Relations Council and the West Windsor-Plainsboro African-American Parent Support Group present the second program in its film festival, “Living the Hopes of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision of a Beloved Community,” on Monday, January 21, from 2 to 4 p.m .at the West Windsor Library. Segments of the documentary PBS film, “Citizen King,” shown during the program highlight the final years of King’s life.
A discussion follows led by faith community participants including Reverend Cornell Edmonds, New York City Presbytery; Kishin Kriplani, Arsha Bodha Center; Rabbi Eric Wisnia, Congregation Beth Chaim; and Riaz Siddiqui, chairman of the religious committee, Islamic Society of Central New Jersey. West Windsor Mayor Shing-Fu Hsueh presents introductory remarks. The program is free and open to the public and all ages. Light refreshments will be served.
Edmonds, a West Windsor resident since 1997, was born in Richmond, Virginia, and grew up on the lower East Side of New York City with his mother and nine siblings. A product of New York City schools, he graduated from Cornell University and New York Law School. Edmonds spent 13 years practicing law in New York and New Jersey, doing primarily public interest litigation. He served as staff attorney for the Legal Aid Society, was an adjunct professor at Nassau Community College, and was a chief of staff for a New York State Legislator. Edmonds served in the New York State Guard attaining the rank of major and receiving numerous military decorations including the New York State Commendation Medal.
Before entering the seminary, Edmonds was active at the Riverdale Presbyterian Church, where he served as an elder and the clerk. He served on the boards and committees of In the Spirit of the Children, Jarvie Commonweal, Bronx Legal Services, and Presbyterian Senior Services. He was instrumental in the privatization of the New York Metropolitan Martin Luther King Center for Nonviolence and served as its general counsel.
In 1997 he entered Princeton Theological Seminary, and graduated with a master’s of divinity in 2000. The Presbytery of New York City called him into service shortly after the events of September 11, 2001. In 2004 he was elected to his present position as the stated clerk for the Presbytery of New York City.
“The goal of the program is to have a conversation with the participants that will define the similarities and differences between the challenges Dr. King and the movement he helped galvanize to address social justice issues in contrast with the challenges we face today including racism, sexism, and faith issues,” says Barbara Edmonds, his wife and president of the WW-P African American Parent Support Group. “We hope to engage the audience in defining some next steps on what role the West Windsor township community can take in creating an atmosphere that will lead to a beloved community.”
The Edmonds’ children include Cortne’, a student at Georgetown University; William, a student at High School South; and Isaiah, a student at Thomas Grover Middle School.
Edmonds was featured in Parade magazine in 1999 and in Inspire magazine in 2000 regarding his call to ministry. “I am particularly committed to the church’s call to social justice and leadership development,” he says.
The film festival, “Race, Faith, Class, Gender: The Challenges and Opportunities We Face in A Global Community,” began in November. “Last Chance for Eden,” a documentary on racism and sexism in the workplace directed by Lee Mun Wah, was followed by a discussion facilitated by Barbara Flythe, a diversity trainer, parent educator advocate, and longtime West Windsor resident.
On Saturday, February 9, “Voices of Civil Rights” will be shown in commemoration of African-American History Month. The documentary, produced by the History Channel, includes a selection of personal accounts created by a group of journalists, photographers, and videographers as they embarked on a 70-day bus tour around the country to create the largest archive of oral history of the Civil Rights Movement. A discussion facilitated by a diverse panel of speakers follows the film.
The series continues with a film to commemorate Women’s History Month on Saturday, March 15, followed by a discussion on issues impacting women in today’s society.
On April 5, a film on class issues will be screened followed by a discussion on the question of wealth and how money affects lives, families, and the world community. The series concludes on Saturday, May 3, with a screening of Michael Moore’s “Sicko,” followed by a discussion on universal health care and health care disparities in our health care delivery system.
Commemoration for Martin Luther King, Jr., West Windsor Library, 333 North Post Road, 609-799-0462. Presented by the West Windsor Human Relations Council and WW-P African American Parent Support Group. For more information E-mail Hassan Syed at firstname.lastname@example.org. Monday, January 21, 1 p.m.